More and more celebs are following progressive or attachment parenting principles. “Gossip Girl” star Kelly Rutherford and “Big Bang Theory” actress Mayim Bialik both made the headlines recently when they revealed publicly that they breastfed their toddlers; Rutherford even more so because she revealed her stance on the subject back in 2008. Bialik, who, in addition to being an actress and mother, is a neuroscientist, did extensive research on the subject and wrote a book about it: “Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way.”
“Brangelina” are allegedly ‘unschoolers’ and, along with Kevin Kline, Kylie Bax and a host of others, they have openly admitted to co-sleeping with their kids for as long as they want. Angelina Jolie told Esquire magazine: “Rightnow, Pax is sleeping in our bed. It’s kind of nice, him immediately knowing and feeling comfortable with us. Mad slept with me until Brad and I got together. They’re fun to sleep with. We have family sleep on Sundays. Everybody sleeps together.”
New Zealand model Kylie Bax told Woman’s Day magazine, after the birth of her second child, Dione Nefeli, “We have four people in the bed now!” (Her other child is daughter, Lito, 3.) Kevin Kline, his wife Phoebe Cates, and their children, Owen, 16, and Greta, 13, still share a bed. He told OK! Magazine, “There is a theory that a child has to teach itself to go to sleep, and if every time it cries, you whisk them out of their bed — the jury is still out on that. But our kids still sleep in our bed”.
There are also a wealth of celebs caught on camera ‘wearing’ their babies, such as Julia Roberts and Naomi Watts,making the practice more acceptable. The media, however, still depict extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping as “extreme” or ‘humorous’. I loved the film Grown-Ups but, as a mum tandem feeding a 3.5 and a 2-year-old, I was pretty ticked off by the supposed joke about the older-than-average child still being breastfed by their mother. Apparently she was crazy and unstable! Hopefully, with more celebs following this parenting style the media might start portraying these images in a more positive light and not as a subject of ridicule.
About Chaley-Ann Scott
Chaley-Ann Scott is a parenting author, sociologist, counsellor, and mother-of-four. She writes widely on parenting and education for various publications, and is the author of The Shepherdess; A Guide to Mothering without Control.